Happy Bookouture day here on Chocolate’n’Waffles! Today, as part of the tour for Black Heart by Anna-Lou Weatherly, I’m sharing an extract that I hope will make you curious!
Thank you to the beautiful Kim at Bookouture for inviting me to be part of this blog tour!
When the body of a man is found with his wrists slashed in a London hotel room, it appears at first to be a tragic suicide. But Detective Dan Rileysuspects there is more to this case than meets the eye and the pathology report confirms his worst fears – the victim was poisoned and suddenly Dan is dealing with a murder inquiry.
Then he makes a disturbing discovery, uncovering links between the victim and a woman calling herself Goldilocks on an online dating site. Is she seeking revenge or something more?
Still grieving the devastating loss of his girlfriend and unborn child in a car accident two years ago, Dan throws everything he has into the investigation. Yet just as Dan begins to piece together the clues of this complex case, the body of a woman is found in her bed with identical wounds.
Dan is on the trail of a twisted individual who is much closer than he realises. Can he overcome his own demons and stop the killer before it’s too late?
An all-consuming and totally unputdownable read that will have you holding your breath to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza and Karin Slaughter.
Previously published as Last Cry.
She pushed through the revolving doors, the sound of her stiletto heels clacking against the ornate marble flooring as she walked into the plush hotel lobby. It was busy. This was good. Her eyes flicked towards the concierge behind the shiny, curved reception desk and the groups of well-dressed Japanese tourists, businessmen and wealthy guests buzzing around it, designer luggage piled high behind them. Her timing was perfect – and deliberate. La Reymond, one of the most prestigious five-star hotels in Knightsbridge, operated a late check-out policy, at a premium of course, and its exclusive clientele thought little of paying for such advantages. She would go relatively unnoticed in the bustle of human traffic.
It had been raining heavily outside too; another bonus, people were always preoccupied in wet weather, too concerned with ruining their expensive blow-drys and suits. She brushed a few droplets of rain from the shoulders of her Burberry trench coat, which she’d worn with the collar turned upwards, and concentrated on walking straight ahead towards the lifts, careful not to slip on the wet marble floor, her patent stilettos proving even more treacherous in such conditions.
She entered the lift, smiling briefly at the occupants before turning her back on them, then slipped out on the third floor and walked two flights of stairs up to the fifth. Penthouse suite 106. She rang the bell and heard his hefty bulk shift as he got up to answer it.
‘Hello Daddy Bear.’ She entered the suite, throwing her bag onto the huge round bed and opening her coat. Immediately she spied the magnum of Krug on ice and a small duck-egg blue Tiffany box with a white ribbon on one of the plump pillows. Muted pornography was playing on the 60 inch flat-screen TV. She took her coat and thin black strappy dress off almost simultaneously, discarding them onto the silk upholstered chaise longue, one of an exquisite pair, she noted.
‘Well, helloooo Goldilocks,’ his eyes widened as he drank in her expensive lingerie, lingerie he’d hand selected for her from Agent Provocateur just for today’s occasion, ‘you look… sensational.’
She adjusted one of her stockings.
‘Excellent choice, I must say,’ she admired herself in the large floor mirror, ‘I particularly like the way the basque cinches my waist, and the ouvert panties…’ She gave him a sideways glance, ‘Dirty, filthy, bad Daddy Bear…’ She watched as he lay grinning on the bed, his heavy form leaving an imprint on the delicate sheets. He was half naked; his stomach protruding over his tight briefs. ‘Take them off.’
He instantly obeyed, glad to be rid of them.
‘Champagne?’ he went for the bottle. ‘I have a gift for you.’
‘Afterwards.’ She pushed him back onto the bed and straddled him.
‘Mmmm, Daddy Bear, so hard already,’ she closed her eyes and began to moan a little as she slid down onto him.
‘Only for you my angel, all just for you…’
She laughed, throwing her head back as she began to ride him hard. He felt like a bouncy castle.
‘Baby… baby, slow down… I’m going… I’m going to…’
She looked down at his round face, where traces of ecstasy were gradually dissipating, along with his almost instant orgasm; beads of unhealthy sweat glistened on his forehead.
‘I’m sorry,’ she shrugged, ‘I just wanted you so bad.’
He almost purred with delight, his ego engorging almost as rapidly as his erection was dwindling.
‘You… you’re something else, do you know that Goldilocks?’
She smiled; she did.
‘Shall we have champagne in the bath?’
She got off him and padded through to the en suite. Impressive, she thought, surveying the large sunken tub and gold taps. She ran the hot tap, perusing the selection of high-end pampering products, undecided between the Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin bath oil or the L’Occitane Fig, eventually opting for the former. Humming a tune, she began pouring the sweet, fragrant liquid into the running water.
‘Come on Daddy Bear, where’s that champagne?’ she called out to him in the bedroom, catching sight of herself in the mirrored tiles. She was still wearing the basque and suspenders and began to take them off, teasing herself in the mirror until she was naked. ‘It’s the perfect temperature,’ she said as he trundled, cumbersome, into the bathroom, naked but for the ice bucket and champagne magnum.
He poured them both a chilled flute.
‘Mmm, divine,’ she purred, champagne in the bath, so… decadent.’ She piled her platinum blonde hair up high onto her head with a bulldog clip as she stepped into the bath, careful not to get it wet.
‘Well, are you getting in Daddy Bear?’
His meaty bulk caused the water to rise considerably as he ungainly sank into the bath.
She relaxed back, placing her feet on his bulging stomach like a cushion, and wiggled her manicured toes, giggling a little as she sipped on her drink.
‘I know, I know, I need to get this down the gym,’ he grabbed at his excess flesh awkwardly. ‘I’ve been meaning to,’ he apologised, reaching for a Charbonnel et Walker truffle from the complementary box that had accompanied the magnum. The ones she’d had sent up. He popped one in his mouth and held another out to feed to her.
‘Not for me, sweetie,’ she wrinkled her nose, ‘I have to watch my figure.’
‘You’re kidding aren’t you?’ he said, ‘you’re absolutely perfect.’
‘Perfect for you, Daddy Bear.’
He laughed, besotted, unable to take his eyes from her. The tips of her dark nipples poked in and out of the water, tantalising him.
She allowed her toes to move further down his stomach.
‘Did you write the note?’ her voice was saccharine.
He swallowed another chocolate.
‘The note?’ He looked momentarily perplexed. ‘Oh, yes… that… yes, it’s in my briefcase.’
She smiled lasciviously, her toes massaging him intimately as she seduced him with her eyes.
‘My good, darling Daddy Bear.’ She watched as his head began to roll back on his shoulders slightly, his eyes beginning to look a little heavy.
‘Gosh, I feel tired,’ he suddenly exhaled loudly, ‘and a little nauseous.’ He shifted his bulk, water sloshing over the sides as he attempted to shake off the uncomfortable feeling he was experiencing.
‘Must be all the exertion. You should have a little nap,’ she suggested, ‘get all refreshed in time for the big finale.’
She picked up the flannel; it was wet.
‘Let me wash your face,’ she said, ‘you’re covered in chocolate crumbs.’ She tutted at him like a child. Kneeling up she moved her body onto his and placed the flannel over his mouth. His eyes widened for a split second but the nausea he was experiencing had significantly muted his reactions and he was slow to raise his arm. He was attempting to speak, his voice muffled.
‘What was that, Daddy Bear?’ she said, ‘I’m afraid I can’t make out what you’re saying.’
He grabbed her arm, continuing to try to say something, but his voice was slowing down, it became a little slurred around the edges and incoherent.
She blinked at him, smiling into his eyes.
‘Night night, Daddy Bear,’ she said, ‘sweet dreams.’
His head made a small thud against the ceramic tub as it fell back onto his shoulders.
He was out cold. Finally.
She sighed, removing the champagne flute from his hand. His arm flopped over the edge of the bath almost comically and she had to stop herself from laughing. But the urge soon faded when he began to gradually slide down into the water. She had banked on his sheer size preventing this from happening and suddenly felt cross. It was the slippery bath oil.
‘Oh no you don’t. Big fat, fucking Bear.’
Jumping from the bath she got behind him and attempted to pull him upright by the armpits. It wasn’t easy; he was a dead weight on top of all the extra he was carrying and he kept slipping back down into the tub. Cursing under her breath she grabbed one of the fluffy white towels from the rail and shoved it behind his back. It provided the resistance she needed to keep him upright but she knew she must act quickly.
‘Now you stay there, Daddy Bear, I’ll be right back.’
Naked and still wet, she hurriedly went into the bedroom to get what she needed, her adrenal glands working overtime as she rifled through the large tote. Back in the bathroom, she took hold of one of his wrists and slit it open vertically with one deep cut. A fountain of bright red arterial blood immediately spurted from the wound. She stepped back but not quickly enough, and a mist of spraying blood hit her face and chest. God damn it! Watching almost mesmerised as blood pumped from his main artery, forming an impressive pool on the shiny white marble flooring, she quickly took hold of his other wrist and repeated the process. The initial spurt was less impressive than the first, but this was only to be expected as he’d already begun to bleed out. She stood back to observe her handiwork, watching the life drain from him. The bath water turned from pink to bright red, like paint.
Wanna buy the book? Click here!
Anna-Lou began her career as a dancer but a moped accident in Ibiza put paid to those aspirations and so she went back to her first and one true love – writing! She re-trained as a journalist, specialising mainly in women’s interest and celebrity, becoming the Editor of J-17 and Smash Hits as well as writing for a host of women’s magazines.
Anna-Lou has written three Adult Fiction titles – Vengeful Wives and Wicked Wives, both published by Avon in the UK and Bookouture in the US and Canada and Pleasure Island published by Bookouture.